Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yummy Food Ahead (or in my case, behind)

I don't know how y'all do it...take pictures of stuff while you're cooking, and before you eat your gorgeous creations... I guess keeping the camera in the kitchen would be a start. But I get distracted enough while cooking as it is ("Mommy! Come see my drawing!") and by the time the food is ready, I'm ready to eat!

So. Last night my mom and dad and sister came to dinner, so I made one of my favorite dinners: a fast and easy Shrimp Creole recipe from the Desperation Dinners cookbook.

By the way, it's ironic that when I was a single, full-time working trial lawyer, I read Bon Appetit from cover to cover every month, cooked gourmet dinners and tried all sorts of complicated things. I just knew that when I had a family, I'd be cooking wonderful food all the time. And now, I work from home, I have a husband and daughter to cook for...and I'm cooking meals from Desperation Dinners and Rachel Ray's 30 minute meal repertoire. Sigh.

Anyway. Here's the yummy shrimp...and it IS delicious.

Now, I know it's not REAL shrimp creole, or anything like the real thing, probably...but it IS delicious. And fast. And easy. Here's the recipe:

Desperation Shrimp Creole

1 tb olive oil
2 medium onions (for 1 1/2 cups chopped)
1 medium green or red pepper (for 1 cup chopped)
1 medium rib celery (for 1/2 cup chopped)
1 tb worcestershire sauce
2 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp Tabasco
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
1 8 0z can of tomato sauce
1 cube fish flavored bouillon
black pepper to taste
1 pound already peeled medium raw shrimp

1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to boil in 2-qt saucepan. When water boils, add rice, cover pan, and remove from heat until ready to serve.

2. Heat olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to skillet as you chop. Seed and coarsely chop bell pepper and ad to skillet, stirring. Chop celery into bite sized pieces and add; raise heat to medium-high.

3. Stir vegetables well, then add Worcestershire, garlic, Cajun seasoning, bay leaf, thyme, and Tabasco sauce, and stir well again. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes with their juice and tomato sauce. Cut off one half of fish bouillon cube and crumble it into skillet, then season with black pepper. Simmer sauce for 2 minutes, stirring from time to time.

4. Add shrimp, raise heat to medium high, and cook just until shrimp turns pink, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve at once over bed of rice or linguine

Serves 4.

We had that with caesar salad, crusty sourdough bread, and a crisp Sonoma vally chardonnay. Perfect.

And for dessert? Another ridiculously easy dessert...courtesy of Rachel Ray.

No, it didn't look this pretty. But close.

So here's the recipe.

Buy a pre-made angel food cake at the grocery store. Buy 2 jars of lemon curd (which you can find in the jam section.)

Empty the lemon curd into a sauce pan, add a splash of water, and about a tablespoon each of lemon, orange and lime zest. Or whatever you have.

Cut the angel food cake into 3 sections, crosswise obviously (so you have 3 layers).

On the bottom layer, spread some lemon curd and sprinkle liberally with sweetened coconut (straight from the bag). Top with the next layer, and repeat. Add top layer, spread a light layer of lemon curd, and sprinkle with coconut.

Voila! I served this with sliced fresh strawberries, and it was heavenly. And made in about 10 minutes.


  1. #1 thing they don't tell you in law school -- Mommy is so much harder than any case you will work. #2 thing they don't tell you -- superwoman is NOT part of your job description. (in other words counselor -- nothing wrong with 30 minute meals at all, if it tastes good, eat it!)

  2. Mary Beth4:26 AM

    Sooo glad you included the recipes! Thanks! Since you mentioned your menu for dinner yesterday I couldn't stop thinking about it. Guess what we are having for dinner tonight? Yummmy!

  3. I'm going to make this cake....I love coconut and who doesn't like an easy cake recipe. Love your blog...I really enjoy reading it.

  4. Jane Ann7:35 PM

    Somehow I missed this post until today. My specialty cake is a 3-layer coconut cake with homemade lemon curd filling and boiled fluffy frosting .... hmmm. Yours looks a whole lot quicker and sounds delicious too. Yep, that's my next project.